3.4L V6 Power Steering Pump Replacement Short Cuts

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By: Adam Fertig. May, 2002

For a while my power steering pump intermittently made whining noises. Not unbearable, but I knew it would get worse. Finally it started to get worse and worse, up until the point that it sounded like whales humping under my hood! I looked around for replacement pumps, and found the cheapest was at Napa for $150 (+ $50 refundable core charge). They had to order it in for me, took a day or 2. It did not include the reservoir, but I just simply re-used the old one. I'll tell you how I went about swapping out the old for a remanufactured pump.

First thing to do is remove the air box from the engine compartment. There are four 12mm bolts that hold the box in and two 10mm bolts that hold the MAF to the air box.

Disconnect the pressure and return lines form the pump.
A wrench jammed in between the pump and pulley made removal much easier.

Next step is to disconnect the return line and pressure line. But before you do this, you need to get an oil drain pan under the rig. Also remove the skid plate so the oil can drain right into your oil pan. The return line is a small rubber hose that connects directly to the reservoir and hangs down. Squeeze the clamp and pull the hose off. BUT...be careful! A lot of fluid will drain out when you take this hose off. All of what is in the reservoir will come out. Plug the hose up so that no contaminates get in the line.

Next remove the pressure line, which is a 17mm hex head bolt. You will also need a 15/16" wrench to hold the fixed nut attached to the power steering pump. As you loosen the bolt, fluid will pour out. Make sure you get it in the pan. Remove the odd looking bolt with holes in the middle. Also make sure you don't lose the little washer attached to the pressure line fitting. Plug the pressure hose so no contaminates get into it.

Next you need to remove the pulley. It is held on by a 17mm bolt. Remove the nut and the pulley will slide right off. Then take the belt off. You will need to jam something in the pulley to keep it from moving on the shaft. I tried a few things, but a wrench jammed in between the pump, through the pulley, and into the fan shroud worked the best.

Removed pump with reservoir. The reservoir is installed on the new pump.

Next thing to do is remove the three 14mm bolts holding the pump on to the engine. There is one long bolt that holds the pump onto the engine, and 2 shorter bolts that hold it onto the adjusting bracket. Now the pump will come off the rig. Be careful as you take it out because there will be fluid still in the reservoir, and you don't want any fluid on your paint.

Now you need to take the reservoir off the old pump. There are three 12mm bolts to remove. After those are off, you may need to pry the reservoir off of the pump with a screwdriver. Mine was pretty muddy and dirty, but it came off with a few taps. When doing this, you will leak some fluid, so do it somewhere where you won't make a mess.

The remanufactured power steering pump.
The new pump with the reservoir installed.

Next you need to put the old reservoir on the new pump. Just bolt the 3 bolts back up to the new pump. Now the new pump is ready to be bolted back on the truck.

Slide the old pump back back onto the mounting holes, and hand tighten the bolts. Now you will have to loosen a different bolt that you didn't touch when taking it off. The belt tension adjuster is a 12mm bolt in which one of the shorter power steering pump bracket bolts are connected. It is right under the pressure line that you removed before. It's in a really tight spot, but you can loosen it up by hand. You need to loosen that really good in order to put the pulley back on.

Next you need to put the pulley back on, along with the belt. Make sure you put it back the way it came on. It is very important that you loosened the tension bolt I mentioned before. Slide the pulley back on on the splined shaft, tighten the bolt. Remember to jam a wrench in the pulley again.

Now you need to put tension back on the belt. You do that by tightening the tension bolt I mentioned before. This is the fun part: with the pump and pulley bolted on, there is VERY LITTLE ROOM. I am glad I have small hands! It will take a while to get that bolt tightened. Make sure you have sufficient tension on the belt, and then tighten the 3 bolts you finger tightened before.

After you have everything bolted up and ready to go, you need to refill the reservoir and cycle the fluid through the pump. Fill the reservoir up to the cold mark on the dipstick. Turn the truck on, and idle it for a minute or two, and refill the pump if needed. Then turn the wheels back and forth a few times, check the fluid, and refill if necessary. Then go for a test drive to make sure everything is working. You're done!

There still is a very slight whine when I'm stopped and cranking the wheel, but hardly noticeable. It's great to do this type of work yourself, since doing it myself I probably saved a few hundred bucks.

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